2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia
February 14, 2018
As the world gets ready for the 21st FIFA World Cup, both excitement and questions start to arise. Many are even calling 2018’s Cup “the most political World Cup in history,” due to its host country Russia.
Hosting the World Cup comes as a shock to the international community. The first round of the 2018 Russian election will be on March 18 and end in April, while the country will be hosting the World Cup from June 14 through July 15.
The main issue is whether or not Russia deserves the honor of hosting the World Cup. Vladimir Putin’s politically fueled aggression towards other countries supports the main issues. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister of Britain, argues against Putin hosting the event.
According to the Associated Press, Clegg states, “If he carries on with this belligerent behavior (…) it’s unthinkable that he should have the privilege of hosting the World Cup in 2018 (…) You can’t have the beautiful game marred by the ugly aggression of Russia on the Russian-Ukrainian border.”
Many assume that Putin will use the World Cup for his political regime. This is not a new phenomenon; as Argentina hosted the 1978 World Cup for political reasons. The Independent reports “World Cup 40 years ago was more about [Argentina’s] internal strife and the brutal junta,” but the upcoming World Cup will have more of a political atmosphere surrounding it.
Grace Chalhoub, a sophomore at Milton High School, states that her family normally would be attending the upcoming World Cup, but their plans are cancelled due to potential “threats of revolts and violent tensions that might come up because of the election.”
Along with Russia’s precarious international relations, Clegg reveals Putin uses huge events, in this case, the World Cup, to draw attention away from Russia’s questionable track record. However, Sports fans predict the World Cup will be obscured by Russia’s injustices concerning: homophobia, racism and human rights. Especially, it being briefly after Putin’s predicted re-election.
Although there are many questions surrounding its host country, people all over the world are still eager to see the outcome of the 21st World Cup.